Liverpool have informed Leicester City that they have no interest in Riyad Mahrez, contrary to media reports, clearing the way for Arsenal to swoop in
Liverpool have ruled themselves out of the reckoning in the race for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, according to reputed journalist Carl Markham, paving the way for Premier League rivals Arsenal to make a move for the Algerian winger.
The Reds were reported to be strongly interested in making a move for the 26-year old, especially after it was confirmed that playmaker Philippe Coutinho was set to leave Anfield for Barcelona in January. The Mirror even went on to claim that Mahrez was on the verge of completing a medical and clinch a move to the Merseyside.
However, Markham has claimed on his Twitter account that all such reports were false and that Liverpool have made contact with Leicester to directly inform them that they have no interest in their player.
Markham’s claims have further been backed by a report from Sky Sports, which also goes on to state that Liverpool have no interest in Mahrez and the Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp has other targets lined up to replace Coutinho.
Understand @LFC have contacted @LCFC directly to tell them they have no interest in winger Riyad Mahrez – among a number of first-teamers left out of the Foxes' FA Cup team at Fleetwood – and speculation is "complete fabrication"
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 6, 2018
This clears the path for Liverpool’s top-four rivals Arsenal to make a move for Mahrez. The 26-year old has been on the radar of Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger for a while now and he is set to act upon that interest in the winter transfer window.
Arsenal are set to lose out on star attacker Alexis Sanchez, either in January or at the end of the season. The Chilean’s current deal with the North London outfit expires at the end of the season and he has made no secret of the fact that he wants to leave.
Sanchez came close to leaving Arsenal in the summer to join rivals Manchester City, but the move collapsed due to the Gunners’ inability to bring in a replacement. However, Arsenal are now resigned to losing the former Barcelona man and are preparing for life without him by trying to sign Mahrez from Leicester.
The 26-year old wanted to leave the King Power Stadium in the previous summer, but the Foxes were adamant that he will not be sold. Despite a poor start to the season, Mahrez has picked up form in the recent months and has been at his very best ever since Claude Puel took charge of the club.
He has netted eight times and notched up eight assists in 24 appearances across all competitions, helping Leicester climb up to the eighth place on the Premier League table.
With Liverpool now backing out of the race, Arsenal have a clear shot at signing the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year. However, it remains to be seen if Puel is willing to let go of his star man midway through the campaign.